A young woman asked me a few days ago how to know what information she can trust. She’d been told she needed to leave her job if she didn’t receive a covid jab. It got me thinking about how I decide what to trust.
I have some personal guidelines I use all the time. They’ve changed a lot over the last year. There are three main types of people I trust and this is what I look for in each of them:
- People who research from source documentation and share all their references
- They rely on source documents, including official records, high integrity peer-reviewed research, official correspondence and many more.
- They publish all their references and encourage you to check them for yourself.
- They rarely if ever use secondary documents, i.e. other people’s opinions of source documents.
- They remain factual and rational.
- They don’t use emotion or persuasion to get you to agree with them.
- They’re working on behalf of humanity and the greater good, not just their own influence or power.
- They understand the power of knowledge.
- They question everything, including source documents and science.
- They’re willing to question their own biases publicly.
- They’re not afraid of being misunderstood or criticised because they’re strong in the foundation of their own research.
- They clearly check and recheck their own facts and are willing for them to be scrutinised by others.
- If they find they’ve made a mistake or said something wrong they’re willing to admit it and correct it in public.
- People with professional first-hand experience
- They speak from their own personal and professional experience.
- They tell it like it is, without any exaggeration or self-editing.
- They don’t have anything to gain personally from telling their story.
- They don’t have anything to gain personally from lying or obscuring the truth and they’re not protecting their own back.
- They come across as genuine and sincere, without any sense of evasion.
- They don’t use emotion to persuade you to agree with them.
- They don’t talk about what they don’t know or haven’t witnessed personally.
- If they report hearsay or other people’s opinions, they tell you that’s what they’re doing.
- People with personal stories
- They tell their story sincerely.
- They may be emotional about their story because it’s personal.
- They’re not using techniques of persuasion to manipulate you.
- They’re reporting what they experienced as clearly as they can so the evidence speaks for itself.
- They’re not trying to convince you of anything. You can form your own opinion about what they’re saying.
I always avoid people who invoke or use fear to stimulate me to believe them or do something. Using fear is always unethical and manipulative. It’s an abuse of another person’s energy. It’s quite different from speaking about something that may cause fear. It’s important to discern the difference.
Three Keys To Trust
If the speaker/author’s motivation supports the well-being of humanity not only their personal interest.
If my intuition tells me that a person is coming from a good place. I don’t trust this blindly because I’ve been known to be wrong, but I do pay attention because my intuition is frequently right.
If the speaker is clearly interested in sharing what’s true rather than speaking to a hidden agenda.
Podcast: Exhausted and Ready for a Break